People love cheerleading movies because of their comedy, killer routines, and attractive casts. To be quite honest, these movies were partially responsible for making me want to be a cheerleader in the first place. Yet while we all loved Kirsten Dunst as the fierce captain Torrance in the best cheerleading movie of our generation (Bring It On, of course!), insane choreographers and impromptu cheer-offs are not always the case in modern day high school cheerleading. So it's time to crack down, separate the fiction from the harsh reality, and see what cheerleading movies got right about high school cheer.
If you're anything like me, you are probably guilty of tuning in whenever ABC Family has its "Bring It On: All Weekend Long" marathons. Ten hours of TV, featuring five of America's favorite cheerleading movies? Who in their right mind would want to miss out on that? The Bring It On franchise has not only served as big-screen ground for cheerleaders across the nation to bond over, but also the country's connection with the crazy (and sometimes, comical) world of cheerleading. Everyone has a favorite part of the series, whether it's the infamous "spirit fingers" scene from the first film or the crazy "double dragon" stunt from the fourth movie starring Pretty Little Liars' Ashley Benson.
Yet unfortunately, these movies aren't exactly reflective of reality. I promise that I am not trying to kill your vibe. I am just here to make you a little more educated on the beloved topic of high school cheerleading in America. While I treasure these movies just as much as the next girl, here is a list of seven things that the Bring It On movies got wrong about high school cheer.
#1) There Are No Celebrity Guest Stars
As much as I love Rihanna's guest appearance in Bring It On: All Or Nothing, high school cheer competitions lack appearances from your favorite musicians as guest judges. They are usually ex-college cheerleaders, coaches, and other people who know a thing or two about what a clean scorpion looks like and how to score tumbling passes.
#2) The Uniforms Don't Consist Of Mini-Skirts
While competitive cheer squads often rock the crop top uniforms and itty bitty skirts, high school cheerleading uniforms do not follow suit. Due to strict high school dress codes, most cheer teams uniforms' consist of turtle necks, spandex tops underneath uniform shells (like the ones that the Clovers are rocking in the still above).
#3) Cheer-Offs Rarely Happen
Don't get me wrong, cheer-offs in the movies are extremely entertaining. Packed with sass and high energy, they show who is really on top, like in the first Bring It On when the Torros and the Clovers had their epic cheer-off, letting all the students in the fan section know that the Clovers were not a squad to mess with. Unfortunately, cheer-offs at high school football games rarely occur, or if they do (like my high school cheer squad often attempted), they are all in good humor to honor movies like Bring It On that inspired us in the first place.
#4) Insane Stunt Routines Aren't Safe
The "double dragon" (aka roller coaster) stunt from the fourth movie, Bring It On: In It to Win It, is probably one of the most memorable parts from the entire series. It was very visually appealing, but at the same time, not an accurate depiction of a high school cheer competition stunt. Due to numerous instances of cheerleaders getting seriously injured or killed from dangerous stunts like basket tosses and others, certain stunts have become illegal in states across the U.S. due to their risk. While whipping out a "double dragon" like the dynamic duo of the Jets and the Sharks (the Shets) would result in a crazy high "difficulty" score at a high school cheer competition, it would most likely be illegal and result in a point deduction.
#5) The Tryouts Aren't That Scary
High school cheer tryouts look like the scariest thing in the movies. I won't lie, they can be very intimidating, especially your first time around. However, most cheer tryouts are held by the coaches, or former high school and college cheerleaders, rather than the captains and current members. Rest assured, you normally don't have to make up your own custom cheer.
#6) The Choreographers Aren't Crazy
While some of you former (or current) high school cheerleaders might like to contest this fact, most choreographers are not as insane as Sparky. They do tend to be energetic and sometimes a little bit kooky, but it's just all of their creative energy, duh!
#7) Krumping? Not Gonna Happen
Man, do I wish that I had krump battles like this at high school cheer practice. Unfortunately, krumping isn't exactly in the high school cheer vocabulary. While it is no doubt entertaining to watch on the bring screen, it falls short of cheer dancing reality. Petition to include krumping in cheer competition routines, please!
Cheerleading: one of the sports we love to see portrayed on the big screen. With their high energy, #quotable references, and most importantly, kick-butt routines, cheerleading films like the Bring It On franchise have been favorites for years, despite the lack of basis in reality.
Images: Universal Pictures (4)